LAS CRUCES – Magazines and newspapers in Las Cruces and throughout southern New Mexico that have relied on Signature Offset to print their publications will now have to find a new printer.
Signature Offset, founded in 1970 in Denver as Intermountain Color, was sold Friday. Its new owners abruptly closed its printing plant in Las Cruces, 132 Westgate St. The printing company, which had been in Las Cruces for about 18 years, had about 30 employees. It was the only Las Cruces company that could boast of its ability to print newspapers or magazines.
“It’s closed,” said Jerry Buck, manager of the Las Cruces plant. “I hear some customers could try to work something out.”
The company’s sale and the shuttering of its Las Cruces plant will not affect the printing of the Las Cruces Sun-News. The Sun-News is owned by Gannett, which has a regional printing facility in El Paso.
Most impacted by Signature Offset’s closure in Las Cruces is the Las Cruces Bulletin, a weekly newspaper.
“We got a call Friday saying they were sold and were closing their Las Cruces plant,” said Richard Coltharp, Las Cruces Bulletin publisher. “We’re disappointed because we had had the Bulletin published in Las Cruces all these years.”
Coltharp said there are at least six printers the weekly newspaper could consider.
“We’d like to make a decision in the next week to 10 days,” Coltharp said. “We have until then to decide where we go next. That’s one of the blessings of being a weekly (newspaper). Signature Offset has indicated it will continue to print the Las Cruces Bulletin for the next two weeks. They have been good to us.”
Patsy Hernandez, vice president of production for the El Paso Times, said any publications affected by Signature Offset’s closure in Las Cruces could consider her print facility in El Paso.
“I’m happy to take on whatever I can take on. We have the capability,” Hernandez said.
Other publications, such as Southwest Senior magazine, and New Mexico State University haven’t been involved with Signature Offset in recent years. Keith Whelpley, Southwest Senior owner and publisher, said his publication is printed by PDX Printing in El Paso.
Chris Faivre, director of marketing and communications for Visit Las Cruces, also known as the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau, said his organization uses Las Cruces-based printing companies for its brochures and promotional materials.
“We work with our local printers,” Faivre said.
Signature Offset officials could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Steve Ramirez can be reached at 575-541-5452, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @SteveRamirez6 on Twitter.
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